Boring and Basic Everyday Actions: anything but simple with ADHD
“Dog Tasks” are what I call the kind of everyday tasks that people with ADD / ADHD seem to find the most procrastination-worthy. They're dull, routine, and about as motivating to do as watching a dog sleep.
They're the kind of chores that make home life or work run smoothly when they're done regularly. Unfortunately, when they're not handled regularly, they can suddenly come up to bite you and make things much more difficult.
Your work dog-tasks might be filing, expense reports, invoicing, tracking your time or filling out forms. At home, you might consider dogs to be dish washing, housework, taking out garbage or organizing tools.
How can you get your dog-tasks handled?INTERRUPTIONS
If your success depends on not being distracted by email, phone or people, commit to unplugging the phone, staying off email, and informing others that you need this hour to stay focused.
If you get distracted at home by your own thoughts, see if you can do the task away from home. Many people with ADD concentrate best in cafes, train stations and doctor's offices!
Is there any part of the task that can be delegated? Perhaps something that takes you an hour to do could be done by a colleague or family member in five minutes.
Try music, TV or background noise to stay focused. (I've always found “Law and Order” to be good background stimulation, since it doesn't require that I look at the TV set.)
Set a timer for a short period of time and keep focused just until the timer goes off.
Or, for several dog tasks, create a “circuit” of 10 minutes each, where you'll jump from one task to another. Using a timer, see how many tasks you can finish in an hour. (Note: This approach is best for tasks that don't require high mental concentration!)
How to Make Dog-Handling a Habit
It will become easier to handle your dogs as you do it more often.
Consider automatically scheduling “dog time” into your calendar. Daily, weekly, or monthly… whatever works best for your dogs.
RITUAL TO CHECK CALENDAR
Make it a nightly and/or morning ritual to check your calendar and take steps to ensure quality dog time.
ASSIGN SPECIFIC TASKS
Each week, assign specific tasks to your dog time schedule. Avoid ever starting dog time without a clear sense of purpose.
Once you get into a regular habit of working dog time efficiently, you'll see your Great Danes become Chihuahuas!
Get help and support with habit forming…
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